Received from: FBU
Congress applauds the professionalism of firefighters who tackled the grassland fires across the UK this summer, notably in the North West and South East of England.
Congress notes the ongoing need for firefighters to tackle these moorland and heathland fires during periods of hot weather.
Congress further notes the increased risk of grassland fires now and in the future as a result of climate change.
Congress notes the excessive working hours worked by firefighters during these fires and the strain these fires put on fire cover.
Congress is concerned that firefighters had to rely on external support and on public donations for simple supplies like sun cream, insect repellent, caps and
socks, and for appropriate vehicles to deliver supplies to firefighters.
Congress further notes the lack of water pressure in some areas that complicated firefighting efforts.
Congress condemns the Westminster government for an unprecedented period of austerity against public services, which has included cuts to one-in-five firefighter jobs since 2010.
Congress believes that these cuts put the public and firefighters at risk.
Congress believes that grassland fires, like flooding and other extreme weather events, are foreseeable matters of national resilience and that resilience is being undermined by local cuts.
Congress demands that the Westminster government invest in fire and rescue services across the UK. This must include new national structures (fully involving trade union representatives) for planning and preparation for emergency incidents as well as funding the recruitment of a new generation of firefighters to attend these kind of emergencies.
Fire Brigades Union
- In paragraph 3, between “of” and “climate”, insert “inaction on”
- In paragraph 7, between “for” and “an”, insert “blocking measures to reduce carbon emissions and for”
- In paragraph 9, delete “foreseeable” and substitute “urgent”
- Add a final paragraph:
“Congress notes the sad irony that the day Saddleworth Moor caught fire, Westminster ditched the Swansea Tidal Barage but endorsed Heathrow
expansion. Congress commits to re-evaluating its advocacy of growth projects, and electing a Labour government committed to sustainable employment.”
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association